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Improving Access to Mental Health Care and Counseling Services for Families

Grant Winners

  • John K. Miller, Ph.D. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Melissa Schacter, M.S. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Daniel Mendel, M.S. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Michelle Manley – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Tiffany De Leon – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences


  • Honggang Yang, Ph.D. – Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences


Award Winners

Many people do not seek mental health services due to barriers such as stigma, accessibility, and costs. The US Surgeon General and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for the development of clinical services that overcome these common barriers. This project proposes the creation of a drop-in, single-session, family focused therapy clinic designed to improve access to care for children and families that may not otherwise have access. The project is a collaboration between NSU's Department of Family Therapy (DFT) and The Children's Home Society, a large national, non-profit agency that addresses the needs of children and families. The project will occur over a one-year period and be implemented at the Fort Lauderdale location of the Children's Home Society. The project will be staffed by graduate clinical interns at the DFT, under the supervision of the Principle Investigator (PI) and other participating DFT faculty.

The project will serve as an internship site for the nationally accredited DFT program and participating clinical interns will accrue supervised client contact hours while assisting in the implementation of the data collection for the study. All client sessions will be supervised “live” through the use of a state-of-the-art two-way mirror and video observation system that is built into the facility. Data collection will occur throughout the service offering in order to gain insights about the client outcome, client satisfaction, clinical effectiveness, and client opinions about the service. Also, participating supervisors and clinical interns will participate in a focus group evaluation at the end of the study to understand their views about improving clinical service delivery. The drop-in clinical offering component of the program will occur one night a week from 3PM to 9PM during the months of September, October and November. We expect to have 60 child and family cases during this period.

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